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mgnme
07-02-2011, 03:25 AM
so I'm working on two YA WIP's right now.
now, i am not a trend-follower. I write what I love, regardless of trends. (and i do NOT want to start a debate on whether or not to trend-follow here! people who want to debate, please go somewhere else!) In fact, both of these books started out as short stories, and then I loved the characters and worlds so much that I decided to expand them. But it's come to my attention that certain core aspects of each of my WIP's may each, for different reasons, be up-and-coming trends.
which means that, if i'm right, then by the time they're published, YA might be totally saturated with these aspects. and it would look like i just wrote them to go with the trend.
it's really messing with my head. every time I open up the documents lately, I hear this little voice in my head going, "it's not worth it! there are going to be a million of these and you'll just seem like another sheep!"
does anyone have advice on this? how do i keep this from messing with my head?
(and i repeat: please DO NOT start some debate here about whether or not to chase trends. I really am looking for advice, and debates like that tend to drive away the people who are offering help.)

Alessandra Kelley
07-02-2011, 03:28 AM
Just do what's uniquely yours, in your own voice, that nobody but you could do. Do it as well as you can, and don't worry if others are exploring similar ideas.

Kitty Pryde
07-02-2011, 03:49 AM
If you write a good-ass book, it doesn't matter if it's about emo ghost vampire reaper shapeshifters who fall in love with zombie mermaids in a dystopian wasteland, or about five-gendered accordion-playing pig-men of Jupiter plotting a socialist revolution.

Smish
07-02-2011, 03:57 AM
Agreeing with the others. Just write.

It's hard to push the negative thoughts aside. I don't worry about trends, but I do have that little voice of doubt that's always there, telling me my prose isn't pretty enough, my characters aren't quirky enough, my setting's not clear enough.

I tell it to shut the fuck up. Sometimes it listens. :rolleyes:

Kathleen42
07-02-2011, 04:01 AM
tbh, I'm not sure how much point there is in worrying that something might be a trend. You know that you aren't a sheep, right? So, really, you just have to trust in your story and your writing.

Kathleen42
07-02-2011, 04:02 AM
If you write a good-ass book, it doesn't matter if it's about emo ghost vampire reaper shapeshifters who fall in love with zombie mermaids in a dystopian wasteland, or about five-gendered accordion-playing pig-men of Jupiter plotting a socialist revolution.

Darn it! Why didn't I put pig-men in my werewolf book?

Mandiloo322
07-02-2011, 05:27 AM
I agree with what everyone has said; you can't let possible future trends force you to abandon stories and characters that you feel passionate about!

I've read plenty of books featuring young girls training for knighthood - most of them came out at the same time too. But they're all very unique and have different characters that I love. So don't worry about potential trends - your characters would just be in good company. :)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-02-2011, 05:29 AM
Which trends are they, out of curiousity?


Like everyone else has said, don't worry about the trends. Just write the best book you can and put it out there. if you switched stories everytime it seemed like you might be caught up in a trend, you'd never get anything finished. ;)

Becca C.
07-02-2011, 06:37 AM
If you just write it, keeping it totally organic to your own voice, it'll be unique and rise about others like it :)

thebloodfiend
07-02-2011, 07:04 AM
Ignore trends. Write what you want.

A brilliant TV writer, who I can't remember, said that you only get a few chances to make it big. Make it big writing what you want to write. Besides, trends change frequently. It takes a book two years from your first draft to get published. Maybe three. By that time, the trend will be over.

JennieRose8
07-02-2011, 07:30 AM
You want to know something funny? When I began writing a student/teacher story, I wasn't aware that this was already a cliche. Unfortunately, my first version was...not good but not because people didn't want to read it. I'm revising it now and making it distinctly different from other student/teacher "romances." I hesitate to even call it a romance because...it sounds scandalous. I don't promote these type of affairs and my story isn't exactly what one would think. ( I don't want to give too much away)

I said all of that just to tell you that I know where you're coming from, but like the other said- do your best to make YOUR story unique. Shut out the doubt and just turn up the creativity. :)

Cyia
07-02-2011, 07:39 AM
Well lets see, a few years ago I started writing in my favorite genre, vampires... oops.

So I figured I'd do something else and write zombies...er...

Then I thought, a dystopian sounded like a good idea.... frack...

Then I dug out a screenplay I wrote in high school, which was a space opera, made a frankenstein MS from it and the dystopian / zombie books and viola. My new MS is finished... just in time for the friggin' sci-fi trend.

Answer your question?

:/

Becca C.
07-02-2011, 07:47 AM
Yeah, I'm hoping that LGBT contemporary becomes a huge trend juuuust around the time I have a book out! Not holding my breath, though. Luckily LGBT contemp has been fairly steady over the years.

thebloodfiend
07-02-2011, 07:59 AM
Yeah, I'm hoping that LGBT contemporary becomes a huge trend juuuust around the time I have a book out! Not holding my breath, though. Luckily LGBT contemp has been fairly steady over the years.

Slowly but surely Becca. Any book about any type of minority really.

I want contemporary to take the market by storm in four years. And I'm not saying that because I write it. Really.

Tromboli
07-02-2011, 08:01 AM
I feel like this is a little like someone being worried they if they start listening to pop disco-- which is going to be the "next big thing!"-- people will think they are sell outs. They want to be different. So even though they LOVE pop disco they will listen to ska music because everyone hates ska these days. (p.s. ska is my favorite type of music, don't think I'm hating on it ;))

I know this is silly. But I think not writing something because you're worried you'll look like a follower is a little silly too.

I'd also like to know what the "new trend" is who it was that said it was going to be big.

My advice-- write it and make it awesome and even if you do write it in time for it to be over done then just sit it for a little while and come back to it later. Chances are it will be just fine later on.

MissKris
07-02-2011, 08:34 AM
I agree to write what you love first and foremost. That is the writers' creed, after all.

However.

You're not asking just about writing, wherein you can and should write what you want to your heart's content. You're also asking about publishing, and these are not the same things. So, with an eye to getting published, here's what I can say about trends.

Some 24-30 months ago, houses were scrambling to find their Big Dystopian. These books are coming out now (and have over the course of the last two yearsish). If you'd happened to write a dystopian before knowing about the trend, you might have been picked up. If you did know the trend was on the horizon and quickly wrote to it, you also might have been picked up. If you decide that dystopian, today, is YOUR god-given genre and that's what you will write and it will be (and very well could be) the most unique, voicey dystopian ever, you are 98% NOT going to get picked up by any of the big houses, and indeed, any houses that have already bought their Big Dystopian. Why? They don't want in-house competition, for one. Also, when it comes to Big Books, publishers generally buy one per trend.

Now, if yours is a quiet book, something quite a bit different, you might get picked up by a small house, or even by an imprint at a big house that specializes in certain types of books - literary or super commercial paperbacks, for example - and might get a small marketing push. But it won't be anything like what the Big Dystopian gets.

There is nothing wrong with writing to trends. Some may judge you for it, but I wouldn't care about that. Unless you start to hate what you're writing, it's no biggie. Perhaps your motive is to tell your story, perhaps your motive is to establish your name, perhaps your motive is to make enough money so that you can make writing a full-time career. Who cares what your motive is? It's a risk to spend the time writing to them, and it's a risk to miss the boat, as well.

My ultimate opinion on your concern is . . . if you love your story, are hoping to snag a big house and are sure these core elements are big up and coming trends . . . write quickly if you don't want to miss the boat. The boat will likely come around again, but it's hard to predict, since YA is still such a young grouping of books.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-02-2011, 10:41 AM
I agree to write what you love first and foremost. That is the writers' creed, after all.

However.

You're not asking just about writing, wherein you can and should write what you want to your heart's content. You're also asking about publishing, and these are not the same things. So, with an eye to getting published, here's what I can say about trends.

Some 24-30 months ago, houses were scrambling to find their Big Dystopian. These books are coming out now (and have over the course of the last two yearsish). If you'd happened to write a dystopian before knowing about the trend, you might have been picked up. If you did know the trend was on the horizon and quickly wrote to it, you also might have been picked up. If you decide that dystopian, today, is YOUR god-given genre and that's what you will write and it will be (and very well could be) the most unique, voicey dystopian ever, you are 98% NOT going to get picked up by any of the big houses, and indeed, any houses that have already bought their Big Dystopian. Why? They don't want in-house competition, for one. Also, when it comes to Big Books, publishers generally buy one per trend.

Now, if yours is a quiet book, something quite a bit different, you might get picked up by a small house, or even by an imprint at a big house that specializes in certain types of books - literary or super commercial paperbacks, for example - and might get a small marketing push. But it won't be anything like what the Big Dystopian gets.

There is nothing wrong with writing to trends. Some may judge you for it, but I wouldn't care about that. Unless you start to hate what you're writing, it's no biggie. Perhaps your motive is to tell your story, perhaps your motive is to establish your name, perhaps your motive is to make enough money so that you can make writing a full-time career. Who cares what your motive is? It's a risk to spend the time writing to them, and it's a risk to miss the boat, as well.

My ultimate opinion on your concern is . . . if you love your story, are hoping to snag a big house and are sure these core elements are big up and coming trends . . . write quickly if you don't want to miss the boat. The boat will likely come around again, but it's hard to predict, since YA is still such a young grouping of books.



If you're seeing the evidence that a trend is coming, don't stop writing because you wanna avoid the trends. If you see similar books getting huge sales and you've just come up with your idea, maybe you should snag one of the other ideas you know you've got waiting around. if you get caught in the middle, it's up to you to make your decision. If you don't wanna write anything else, then go for it. But if you've got other solid ideas that you've been thinking about writing, maybe a switch would be best.

What is most important is that you look at both sides of the coin, and consider your decision carefully. After that, it's all up to chance.

Ashes Oh Ashes
07-02-2011, 11:33 AM
Write what you write; do it well, and have fun with it. No need to worry about what others might think of you. You're not doing it for them.

That's my two cents. :)

Jehhillenberg
07-02-2011, 03:10 PM
Agreeing with the others. Just write.

It's hard to push the negative thoughts aside. I don't worry about trends, but I do have that little voice of doubt that's always there, telling me my prose isn't pretty enough, my characters aren't quirky enough, my setting's not clear enough.

I tell it to shut the fuck up. Sometimes it listens. :rolleyes:

Thank you!

AutumnLeaves
07-03-2011, 09:18 AM
Yeah, I'm hoping that LGBT contemporary becomes a huge trend juuuust around the time I have a book out! Not holding my breath, though. Luckily LGBT contemp has been fairly steady over the years.


This would make me so very happy as well!!

Windcutter
07-13-2011, 06:58 PM
If you're seeing the evidence that a trend is coming, don't stop writing because you wanna avoid the trends.
This. It's not that easy to hop on the bandwagon even when you want to, so if you like to write something and it's suddenly hot, being worried about following a trend is just not worth the loss of a good idea. And, well, personally I think it's a more favorable situation than the opposite--when you want to write something that's completely utterly market-dead. Just write it. After all, if you have it finished and you realized you really don't want to be a 'trender', you can just put it on the shelf for a while, but you'll have a completed book anyway.

Allaboutwords13
07-14-2011, 12:20 AM
I've had this trouble. I recently posted on a different writing forum a chapter of my vampire story that i started, and although i've written nearly 40,000 words, i got told it was all been and done and not worth it. Some of the comments also were very dismissive. And to judge it all on one chapter? Stupid. And sure, it made me think "what's the point?" but now i realise, as from what other authors have always said, is that you can write about anything, whether it's similar to something else or not, if it's in your own way and from your own head/heart/lungs/wherever, then go for it. No one can tell you it's wrong if it feels right to you. Sure if it's about vampires, werewolves, whatever, there are thousands of other versions out there, but they still sell! They're still popular, even if they're not shoved down peoples throats on the tv or advertised in magazines, etc, but they're always going to have a following.
Trends are good because it helps get an idea of what people are reading. You could write a story that is completely different to anything out there and have no one read it.. which imo is going to be disappointing. Then again, on the other side of things, you could do a story that's hip, and in season, and still have no one read it. anyway, my case is, ignoring the rambling, JUST DO IT! I think i've read every samey book in YA there is.. i never get bored! :)